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Application Procedures and Requirements


Doctoral Program in Political Science

* This page may be printed to assist in completing the University application correctly.*

Thank you for your interest in applying to our program in the Doctoral Program in Political Science. Please print and then follow our additional departmental procedures requirements. The following documents should be uploaded in the Supporting Documents page of the University Application, available at https://admissions.fsu.edu/gradapp.

  • Departmental Application Form (1 required) - available at http://polisci.fsu.edu/graduate/forms/gradappform_PHD.doc.

  • Purpose Statement (1 required) The purpose statement should not exceed 500 words and should describe your purpose for pursuing a doctoral degree in political science, qualifications, and long-term career goals.

  • Letters of Recommendation (3 required) All requests should be requested electronically within the application. Names and email addresses of your recommenders should be entered in the appropriate section. Academic letters of recommendation are preferred.

  • Current Resume/Curriculum Vitae (1 required).

  • Writing Sample (optional). The writing sample should be limited to 2,000 words, and submitted as a Word (.doc) file. Applicants should note due to the large number of applications received, the committee cannot guarantee review of documents over this length.

  • Application for the LeRoy Collins Fellowship in State Politics and Policy (optional). This should consist of a 500-word statement indicating why you wish to hold the fellowship.

    Additional Departmental Consideration Requirements

  • Official Transcripts from all schools/colleges/universities attended and degree posted;

  • A Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college/university;

  • Applicants should have a minimum  upper-level (work taken as a junior or senior) undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale**;

  • The Department seeks a target score of 155 or higher on the Quantitative section, 160 or higher on the Verbal section, and 4.0 or higher on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE. Applicants scoring below 146 on the Quantitative section, 156 on the Verbal section, and 3.5 on the Analytical Writing sections of the GRE will generally not be considered by the Departmental Admissions Committee, except under exceptional circumstances. Scores for examinations taken under the older GRE scoring format will be considered using comparable standards**;

  • The program requires that international applicants complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 600 (250 computer-based, 100 internet-based)**.


    ** Meeting the minimum requirements for test scores and GPA is not a guarantee of admission or funding. The Departmental Admissions Committee reviews many applications each year and ranks them according to a range of factors, including letters of recommendation, personal statements, research interests and career goals, as well as GPA and test scores. We purposefully limit the number of students we accept to ensure that each student gets the personal attention they deserve in a high quality Ph.D. program. 


    NOTE: All documents listed above that are not indicated as “optional” are required to complete your University graduate school application for the Political Science doctoral program. Missing materials will delay the processing of your graduate school application. All materials should be submitted prior to January 15th in order to guarantee full consideration.


    Contact: Jerry Fisher, Academic Coordinator
    E-Mail: jfisher@fsu.edu
    Address: P.O. Box 3062230, 535 Bellamy Bldg., Tallahassee, FL 32306-2230